|Rise of the Guardian Church|
|Date||May 7, 2036|
May 7th, 2036:
The Rise of the Guardian Church: Faiths and Beliefs in the Space Age -
An Investigative Report
By: Jonathon Frog
History tells us that the last time the Guardians visited our Earth was during the time of the Mayans. Finding a population who still worshipped them as deities they departed, and text tells us they promised to return when mankind was ready to accept them as equals, not as Gods.
That took nearly two thousand years.
After a period of intense Guardian worship following the Victorian era, secular society became relatively predominant with the rise of Soviet Russia. Guardian worship quickly fell out of favor, replaced by the more traditional religions, and by the time the Berlin Wall came down the phenomena of the Guardians had mostly been delegated to cheap merchandise and conspiracy theories appearing on the emerging Newsgroups of the Internet.
Then, in 1995 the Church of the Guardians was founded. Formed by several prominent scientists, among them Andrelia Cody, a Chief Researcher in Extra-terrestrial Monitoring at Berkeley University, the "Founders" as they were dubbed wanted to create a faith that was not a faith: A Church that believed in de-deifying the Guardians and preparing Mankind for their return to Earth. The Church that wasn't a Church itself on a foundation of acceptance and tolerance. Are you a Christian? You are welcome in the Church. Muslim? Jewish? Zoroastrian? You are welcome. The Church is not built on a system of faith and beliefs, but on the understanding that humans must prepare themselves for the eventual return of the Guardians and greet them as intellectual equals, not as deities.
While the comparisons to Hubbard and Montgomery's Scientology were quickly raised, the Founders shot them down. Scientology was a system of belief, built on the arcane idea of a singular God. The Church of the Guardians was merely a system to prepare the world for the return of alien beings who will help us reach a new stage of both physiological and technological evolution. The Founders gathered all of the evidence that provided the Guardians had visited the Earth and created a huge museum at Berkeley: Unmistakeable proof that their claims were true.
It's no surprise that this proof, combined with a message of open welcome to all faiths led to a massive swelling of members to the Church.
While there has been harsh criticism levied against the Church, they never seem to find water of substance. Claims of being a cult are dismissed by the evidence presented of the existence of the Guardians: Historical documents from many of the Classical civilizations. Cries of the money sunk into the Church and recruitment drives, and the purchase of the campus of Berkeley are silenced when the Church shows how much of this goes into humanitarian efforts, done in the name of preparing the Earth for the Guardians.
By 2013 it was estimated the Church had close to 750 million members, of all faiths and from all nations. It isn't really a surprise that the Church found traction both in the first and third world. In the first world there are many who live and breathe by science fiction and fact, and the concept of preparing oneself to meet aliens is right up your typical hacker's alley. Promises of a better life free of disease, war and famine from a tangible being means that those downtrodden and living in poverty flock to the Church, whose humanitarian efforts now outstrip the Gates and Jobs Foundation. Walk into any Church anywhere in the world and you'll find some clean clothes, some hot food, vaccinations and medical care free of charge, no matter what the social climate in the area is like.
The real question is then why are they a Church, and not a pure philanthropist organization, with a science fiction twist? From philosopher and Church co-founder, Bouthira Khlot, as part of his speech at the International Conference for Space Colonization and Exploration way back in 2008:
"Preparing Humanity for the return of the Guardians is not an act of faith. We are not asking anyone to put their belief in a God or Beings that may or may not exist. We do not ask for a leap. We present solid and hard facts that provide the Guardians exist, and that they are not deities. They are Aliens, whose technology is far above our own and who wish, via an act of compassion, to share it with those who still languish behind them. The Romans, for all their art, culture and literature must have seemed like children at play with stones to them. They knew we were not ready. We will be. It is in their philanthropic nature that we seek to emulate by offering shelter and care to any who need it, but at our heart and our soul we are an organization to spread the world and the gospel of hard fact, of scientific curiosity, and of the advancement of mankind. This is why we are a Church."
When Khlot gave that speech we as a species had only taken a fledgling step off our planet. We live now in the era of colonies on the Moon and soon-to-be Mars, and our drive for the stars continues unabated with plans to colonize Europa over the next several years.
Are we ready for the return of the Guardians? Over two billion would say yes, that mankind has entered an age of enlightenment, of utopia and of a cultural and spiritual renaissance, given to us by the Guardian Church.
The Church tells us that we must look outward and upwards, and prepare for the return of these beings who will carry us to a new age. Yet war, famine and poverty still cover our world, and if the Guardians were to land in the wrong spot they would be treated to a sight similar to what they saw with the Mayans two thousand years ago. How can we look to space, when there are still billions who suffer on Earth?